Sunday, November 28, 2010

Inspiration Everywhere at Jessica Sprague!

Jessica Sprague is back at it, offering a free online course on her site that looks like a whole lot o' fun!  What's even better (besides the free thing...which is always fun, right?! :>), its geared towards the crafty & creative as a whole.  Its not just for photographers or scrapbookers or card makers etc., but for all with creative spirit looking to get inspired & put that inspiration to use!  Sounds pretty cool. :>

Thursday, November 25, 2010

{Thanks}giving Autumn Love

We are celebrating Thanksgiving today, in the U.S. and I want to wish you a fantastic one!

And as we are extremely grateful for our beautiful surroundings, I thought I might take this chance to share a little autumnal love before we usher in winter and the Christmas season!

'Our Tree'

We have so enjoyed watching this tree on its autumn journey!!  For quite some time, half the tree was a vibrant green, while the other half turned a gorgeous crimson red. 

The contrast was so striking and caught our breath every time we passed it.  After several breathless moments on our almost daily country drives, the kidlets & I came to call this beauty, 'Our Tree'.


'Our Tree' deserved a little up close love as we checked out the variation in colors.  It looked like a fantastic fiesta as we got closer.

Favorite Fall Glimpse

And this, this small moment on one of our many country drive routes, had me smiling from ear to ear, each and every time.  From burgundy to deep reds to shades of crimson, rust, orange flames to gorgeous golds and even a couple summer green holdouts, I breathed autumn in deeply each time we passed by.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate and whether or not this is your holiday, may your day bring you joy and the spirit of gratitude!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GFCF Daily {love}

Twitter has proved to be a huge gluten/casein (& other food allergy/sensitivities) free resource!  @GlutenFreeDee is an amazing resource, pulling together information from the #GF, #GFCF, #celiac, #autism, #glutenfree, #gfree hashtags (hashtags are groupings or categories within twitter & its tweets).

The GF/CF Pumpkin Bread I made & blogged last year, was featured in today's #GFCF Daily.  Yay! :>

I also want to take a minute to highly recommend checking out Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, the creator of the GFCF caramel apple & caramels featured in today's GFCF Daily.  Her site is fantastic and she creates & accommodates for many food allergies.  Some of her dishes (especially older recipes) are just gluten free, but more recently, there are casein & egg free recipes as well.  I found her via Twitter (@adventuresgfmom) and am able to see what she's up to almost daily since I 'Liked' her fan page on Facebook as well.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  We just finished eating a scratch (including the stock) GFCF chicken, veggie & brown rice soup that Hubby had cooking on the stove all day.  And on a non-GFCF note, I'm looking forward to watching Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in an hour as I missed its first airing earlier in the week.  Have you seen it?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Java Affair

I'm playing writing along with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop today & since I took a bit of an unintentional blogging break, I thought the prompt:  A list of 10 reasons you do or do not drink coffee, was pretty perfect to jumpstart a post!

As a teen, when friends were first finding their java love (or working on their Joe Cool factor) and I wanted nothing to do with it (I thought coffee tasted like battery acid), they told me, "You'll get into it in college." 

In college, working full time and carrying a full load of classes, I was asked, "Why don't you like coffee?" and "You don't like coffee?!?!" that included a 'you're crazy' look burned in my direction.  Eventually, calm would return & they would shrug and say, "I'm sure you'll grow to like it."

After college, more people told me with all knowing glances, "You'll appreciate java after you have kids."

I had a kidlet.  Still thought coffee tasted like battery acid.  I was sticking to my Diet Dr.Peppers.

A few years later, I had another kidlet.

And after my second kidlet was a year old and some friends were making a Starbucks run, I finally asked how I could have some java and actually like it (without it being like dessert! know those coffee drinks, right?! or tasting like said battery acid).

She recommended a nonfat, sugar free vanilla latte.

And a new affair with java began.

And to keep in line with the actual writing prompt, "A list of 10 reasons you do or do not drink coffee.", here we go:

1)  I have not successfully found a way to transfer kidlets excess of energy to myself.

2)  I have two energetic kidlets and....see #1.

3)  Liquid Stevia, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and unsweetened coconut milk have become my friends.

4)  Husband's uber strong black Folger's coffee (which he makes a full pot of in the morning before I'm up & I drink the leftovers...but, not usually until about noon, ice water rocks my boat before that.  I know, I'm weird like that.) has made exceptionally good friends with my new friends.  See #3.

5)  On cold days, a hot cuppa java warms the icicle appendages extending from my hands.

6)  I no longer feel socially inept when the java lingo starts buzzing around me (though I still have no idea what some of those java requests are once they get more than ten names to a drink).

7)  Iced coffee made at home with a little nonfat milk & Splenda can make me mighty happy on a hot afternoon.

8)  Coffee is more readily available than a preferred carbonated beverage as we do not wake sleeping husband without the promise of morning coffee.

9)  Did I mention the super energetic kidlets?

10)  Might I remind you again, of Reason #1.  But, if you have figured out how to do that, please do share!

Mama's Losin' It

I still can't drink black coffee (due to that battery acid taste and all), but ever so thankful for ingredients that like to go for a swim in there.  Oh yea, and Dana, thank you for helping me meet Java halfway across that tasty hot cuppa bridge!

So, are you a java drinker?  Or is tea, chai, soda, or water more your style?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween pumpkins get their Jack-O-Lantern ON!

I'm sure you're sick of Halloween already, but I have one last post on the subject for you! 

We have a history here of having fun with the carving of our pumpkins each year.  I had hoped to share some more Halloween pumpkins' past, but after reloading drivers today, we've discovered our scanner has gone kerplunk, kaphooey, kaput!  And all the rest of our previous carved pumpkins are on film & print (aka not digital), so that will have to wait some more until I can make them one with the digital era. :>

And this year, we had some firsts!

This happy little pumpkin is wee girl's and she gutted her pumpkin & half of mine for the first time this year (which made her Dad really happy since he usually does the majority of the pumpkin gutting each year). 

And a few days before we had even gone to the pumpkin patch to carefully select each of our pumpkins, she had drawn & colored the pumpkin face that she wanted on her magical little pumpkin.  She brought her design to her Dad & he carved it for her.  Can I tell you she was so proud & excited to see her sweet happy pumpkin face design come to life when it was carved out?!

Now this Jack-O-Lantern is my boy's.  As I was prepping my pumpkin, he was carving his (another first....his first solo carving!) and said, "I'm carving an old fashioned from 1980. That's a long time ago!"  Oh my.

Hubby prefers 'scary' pumpkins & carved this face.....the slug crawling up the face likes it! lol  Hubs & I both like pumpkins with cool stems.  I forgot to get a lighter shot of mine, but I loved my stem...all curly with dried curly cues hanging from it.  Speaking of my pumpkin.....

Fun carving again, this year, I had!  (There's my feeble attempt at Yoda-ease!)  My hand hurt when I was done, but I was happy with the results.  What do you think??

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!  What's happening in your part of the world?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Star Wars + Legos + channelled excitement = "Something Cool"

We had a kidlet who was practically bouncing out of his skin with excitement & anticipation when Halloween arrived.  As any parent would do to save their sanity to encourage some mellow chill time in the house, Hubs simply said, "Why don't you go build something cool." 

And off the excited kidlet went.

A few minutes later, he returned with...

...Dengar's speeder and...

...Bossk's speeder.

Yes, somebody really loves Star Wars in this house and of course, our favorite building material to go 'build something cool' with, Legos

Linking up with other Wordless/ful Wednesday posters!

Harry Potter & some {wand}erful wizard worthy magic!

Thanks to a kind Auntie loaning our sweet boy the Harry Potter books & movies, once he read the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone & saw its movie full of magical images, he knew exactly what he would be this Halloween!

And so a parade at school on the 29th & trick or treating on the 31st brought Harry Potter through these parts. Thankfully, we had advance notice of the wizard's arrival and were able to prepare a special wand.

Father & son took to the task of creating a wand for the special wizard and grabbed the mysterious mini tree growing from the ground that had been hacked down recently.  The magical, sweet son got his first chance to use a knife (supervised, of course!) to shave off most of the bark.

His Father (aka Hubby) & magical, sweet son whittled it into shape.  They both did a bit of hand sanding and the adult in the operation then torched the end and a bit of the handle's edges.

Stain was rubbed in, wiped off, and the whole wizard perfect wand was given a clear coat.

Add some brass wire, wound around at the top of the handle and the base of the tip, secured by tucking into a pin hole and its ready for Hogwart', um, I mean a visit from Harry Potter himself.

I'm no wizard, but I do love that handle and the magical, sweet son Harry Potter enjoyed it too!

Hope you enjoyed a wee bit of magic that zapped us this Halloween!



Disclosure:  I was in no way compensated for this post.  Harry Potter book & dvd links are affiliate links.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Autism Shout Out

Today, people around the globe are participating in Communication Shutdown.  They are trying to highlight the challenges in social communication for those on the autism spectrum by not using their Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets.  I'm going a different route.

I'm a Mama of a kidlet with autism.  My kidlet is smart, sweet, loving, and since I'm his Mom, I'm just going to say it, he's fantastic!  And on the other side of the coin, autism brings us many daily challenges to spur on our patience, creativity, and ability to think outside the box.  Here, I shared more about why I'm not participating.

I am joining others today on Twitter for an Autism Shout Out!  If you would like to join us, please use the tags #AutismShoutOut #TalkAboutAutism and/or #ASDay and of course, when you see these tags, please retweet! :>

There are others who are also blogging about this special day!  If you have written a post in support of the Autism Shoutout, please link up at Sunday's Adventures in Extreme Parenthood.  And please stop by her blog so that you can visit peeps who are writing, tweeting, and facebooking along! :>
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